A Preview of God’s Plans
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. –Jeremiah 29:11-13
God has a plan for your life. He has some objectives for you. Knowing that, it’s easy to get stuck in the bottomless vortex of questions like: Who am I supposed to marry? Where am I going to live? What am I going to do for work? Yet God’s plans for you are not so much about those specifics as they are about developing your character. God knows that if He can get wisdom and righteousness into you, everything else will sort itself out.
God always has plans for the “welfare” and “future” of those who are His. He always has plans to give His children “hope.” Even in the middle of sad and sobering words of judgment, God poured out His heart for His people through the prophet Jeremiah. He pointed them (and us) toward relationship—the circumstances He allows are designed to cause us to “call upon” Him. We’re always able to respond, seek, and find Him because He wants us to respond, seek, and find Him!
When God says, “I know the plans I have for you,” His words are a great comfort. But wouldn’t you also love to get a look at those plans? The tension isn’t, “Does God know?” The tension is, “I want to know!” Although God understands our tension, He doesn’t feel it at all. He never apologizes for saying I know, but I’m not going to let you know—until later.
He does give us hints, however. God gives us some general categories that describe His plans. First of all, they are plans for your “welfare.” The Hebrew word is shalom, meaning “the complete state of well-being; fulfillment; prosperity; peace.” As God looks down the telescope of time, His plans are for your total well-being.
His plans for you are “not for evil.” People who are determined to prove they can live at cross-purposes with God’s plans will pay a price for their experiment. God’s plans take us away from evil; our plans tend to take us smack into the middle of it!
God’s plan is also designed “to give you a future and a hope,” both immediately and eternally. The biblical definition of “hope” is a “confident expectation of something better tomorrow.” God will never have a problem delivering when your anticipation is based on His promises! It doesn’t matter what has happened, better things are coming. That is your real and living hope!
Father, what a delight to realize You have good plans for me. However I may feel and whatever I may face today, I can anticipate that You are working for good in all of it. So I’m going to do just that—step forward in faith no in my current circumstances, trusting You in all things and seeking to cooperate fully with Your plans for me. I know I can’t imagine all the good You have planned for my life, but I also know it’s all coming in Jesus’ name, so I can say, amen!